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Urge hosts 1st Bear competition

Wed 10 May 2006 In: New Zealand Daily News

The first ever Mr Urge Bear contest was held at Urge Bar in Auckland on Saturday night, with contestants collecting $800 in just 40 minutes for the New Zealand AIDS Foundation and Body Positive. Damian Calleja took top honours and now heads to Melbourne to compete in the Southern Hibearnation competition next month. Initially, Urge Bar's owners Alan Granville and Paul Heard decided to hold the competition just to secure a competitor for the Melbourne event, but decided it was an excellent opportunity to hold a raffle for a worthy cause. "Many of our customers and staff have a close association with the AIDS Foundation," said Granville, "so it seemed a great idea…I was astonished by the amount of money we raised in such a short space of time." Damian Calleja was one of eight contestants that worked the floor collecting cash. "Pockets were deep on the night," said Granville, illustrating the community's commitment to the safe-sex message and the work of the Foundation. Urge generally attracts a more "masculine blokey older crowd," said Granville, but "bears come in all shapes and sizes." "It's more of an attitude," adds Heard. "It's about being all-inclusive. You don't have to look pretty or dress in the latest diesel clothing to be a bear." "All sorts of bears competed on the night," said Heard. "Contrary to popular belief, to be a bear, you don't have to be hairy!" Urge is New Zealand's only gay bar dedicated to a more masculine crowd. And as far as Granville knows, there's only two of its kind in Australia. Calleja will compete on 23   

Credit: News Staff

First published: Wednesday, 10th May 2006 - 12:00pm

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